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Lasswade High School Curriculum for Excellence Curriculum Structure Information Sheet including ‘Information to Parents on the new Senior Phase’ December 2013. ‘Broad General Education’ is one of the very important terms used within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), but what does it really mean? A ‘Broad General Education’ is one of the key entitlements for all pupils from early years through to the end of the third year of Secondary School (S3). After S3 pupils will move on to the ‘Senior Phase’ from S4 to S6 which includes the study for national qualifications. This Broad General Education provides a strong foundation for choosing and specialising in a narrower range of subjects towards the end of S3 and then leading on to specific study for National Qualifications. The table below shows how most pupils will progress through Curriculum for Excellence. It is important to note that young people will progress through the Broad General Education at different rates. Pre-School: P1





Most Pupils at Early Level Most Pupils at First Level Most Pupils at Second Level Most Pupils at Third/Fourth Level

Senior Phase

In Lasswade High School we work hard to continually provide the best education for all learners and the Broad General Education is part of that process and journey. Consequently, pupils will make a small number of personal choices in terms of their courses at the end of S2 within broad Curriculum Areas that will enable them to engage in more depth in certain areas of their learning without having to aim for a national qualification at this stage. However, our curriculum structure also still keeps a breadth of subject areas at this stage in their schooling. Throughout S3 they will continue to enjoy a range of learning areas that will enable them to make clear 1

choices for their ‘Senior Phase’ in S4, S5 and S6 where they will study for National Qualifications. During S1 to S3 pupils will be assessed through a wide variety of means within the Broad General Education but will not be studying for formal qualifications such as SQA Awards. Assessment in S1-3 will include class and year group tests but will also include other ways of assessing progress such as talks and presentations, posters, practical activities, teamwork exercises etc. We are keen to develop and acknowledge all aspects of the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence which are ‘successful learners’, ‘effective contributors’, ‘confident individuals’ and ‘respectable citizens’. Throughout S1-S3 pupils will have opportunities to achieve ‘Merit Awards’ in these ‘capacities’. Each pupil’s progress through the curriculum will be shared with parents through parents’ evenings, regular tracking reports, and one full report towards the end of the Broad General Education. As well as these more formal reporting mechanisms, there will be other appropriate and innovative methods used to communicate academic progress and wider achievement to both pupils and parents including an increased use of ICT. In addition, every pupil in S3 will complete a ‘Personal Profile’ of their learning which will be aided and supported by the iPad which the pupil receives in S3. How is the Senior Phase of CfE different from the old ‘Standard Grade’ SQA Exam model? OLD MODEL: Under the Standard Grade model, during S2 pupils made 8 subject choices which they would then study for SQA Standard Grade Qualifications or SQA Intermediate Qualifications in S3 and S4 over two academic sessions. This would culminate in the pupils sitting their Standard Grade (or Intermediate) Examinations mainly in the Exam Hall at the end of S4. NEW MODEL: Within Curriculum for Excellence pupils may choose options within some Curriculum Areas in S3. During their time in S3 they will then have opportunities to select the subjects that they wish to study to gain SQA Qualifications in the new ‘National Qualifications’ during S4. For a small number of students, particularly our most vulnerable cohort, we may undertake some of the work of the National Qualifications in S3 in order to increase their chances of leaving school with suitable qualifications the following session. How many subjects are studied in each year group? Please note that the diagram below does not include PE, PSE and RMPS which all pupils study at Lasswade as part of the entitlement to the Broad General Education. The CfE Curriculum Areas are as follows:


• Language and Literacy

• Health and Wellbeing

• Social Studies

• Mathematics and

• Expressive Arts

• Religious and Moral



• Technology

• Sciences

The Lasswade HS Curriculum Overview


8 Curriculum Areas 10 Subjects


8 Curriculum Areas 12 Subjects


8 Curriculum Areas 12 Subjects including learning in depth and personalization & choice within Curriculum Areas


7 Subjects at National Qualification Level


5 Subjects at National Qualification Level


Up to 5 Subjects at National Qualification Level

Please refer to the “Building our Curriculum” CfE Structure Diagram on the Lasswade High School Website for more detailed information on the specific content of our Broad General Education and Senior Phase. What are the new ‘National’ Qualifications? National 3, National 4 and National 5 are one year courses that are to be studied firstly in S4 and then in S5 and S6 along with Highers and Advanced Highers. National 3: These courses replace the previous ‘Access 3’ and Standard Grade Foundation courses. The National 3 courses are broken up into course ‘units’. The responsibility for assessing course units at this level rests with the school. A small number of pupils with complex Additional Needs may undertake courses at National 1 and 2. Progression routes and positive destinations from achievement of National 3 Qualifications are best exemplified via our ‘student learner journeys’ based on real pupil experience in Lasswade High School.


National 4: These courses replace Intermediate 1 and Standard Grade General courses and are broken up into course ‘units’. The responsibility for assessing units at this level rests with the school. The assessments take a range of forms and will also be externally verified by the SQA to maintain a national standard. There is no additional external examination at this level though there is an “Added Value” Unit which may involve project/portfolio style work. This Qualification is graded at Pass or Fail. Progression routes and positive destinations from achievement of National 4 Qualifications are best exemplified via our ‘student learner journeys’ based on real student experience in Lasswade High School. National 5: These courses replace Intermediate 2 and Standard Grade Credit courses. At this new National 5 level the courses still include course ‘units’, which are internally assessed by the teachers in our school through different types of assessment, and verified by the SQA. In addition to the course ‘units’ there is as an externally marked examination in most (but not all) subject areas called a “question paper”. All National 5, courses may also include a skills-based ‘assignment’ which is externally marked by the SQA. This is graded and students need to complete this piece of work to achieve the overall Course Award. The final ‘question paper’ (exam), sat in the Exam Hall for most, but not all subjects, and the externally marked assignment, will lead to a graded qualification with passes at an A Pass through to a D Pass. Should students fail to pass at ‘D or above’ they will be accredited with a National 4 Award if they have completed the appropriate course work. The National 5 Qualification will generally allow students to progress to Higher with an A or B pass in most subject areas. Progression routes and positive destinations from achievement of National 5 Qualifications are best exemplified via our ‘student learner journeys’ based on real student experience in Lasswade High School. Higher and Advanced Higher (National Level 6 and National Level 7): These courses, which will retain their existing titles, will be assessed both internally and by passing an additional external SQA assessment and final exam. Higher remains the “Gold Standard” for entry into University. It may be possible for a very small number of our most able students to go straight into Higher for a one or two year progression route at the outset of the ‘Senior Phase’ depending on advice from Principal Teachers. However, this would only be possible after full consultation with parent and Principal Teachers of Pastoral Care and Curriculum. How will universities, colleges and employers know about these new qualifications? 4

Scotland’s Colleges, the organization which represents Further Education Colleges in Scotland, is represented on the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board and has played an active role in shaping the new qualifications, which are also available in colleges at the same time that they are available in schools. Universities have considered the implications of Curriculum for Excellence and the new National Qualifications. Representatives from Universities have also worked with the Scottish Qualifications Authority to develop the new National Qualifications. All the major Scottish Universities have now published guidance on the new Awards which schools are aware of in terms of ‘course guidance’ and development of curricular models. Pastoral Care staff in schools receive regular guidance and updates from Scottish Universities on an annual basis. The Scottish Qualifications Authority are working with parents, teachers, colleges, universities, employers and the Scottish Government to make sure that national standards are maintained. Where can I get additional information? Lasswade High School school website. This includes more detailed information on Lasswade High School Curriculum Structures and CfE in the Broad General Education and Senior Phase. There are also very useful exemplars of ‘student learner journeys’ based on real pupil experience in Lasswade High School. To obtain information to support your child in education, visit the Parentzone website: For Scottish Qualifications information and learning programmes and how they compare, visit the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework website: To obtain information about parent/teacher groups visit the Scottish Parent Council website and/or the Parent Council page within the Lasswade High School Website: For advice and support on Additional Support for Learning, visit Enquire: There is also a wide range of information available on the Education Scotland website 5 as/index.asp Lasswade High School


December 2013

Lasswade hs cfe overview dec 2013